In Doha, Novak Djokovic was asked what was the biggest hurdle coming into the ATP Tour. The Serbian player gave a deep and long answer to a complex question. 'If I have to draw the line and tell you one thing, it was probably more mental than anything,' said Djokovic.
'But it's really hard to simplify that way. I probably tried to simplify it the most I can to you, but it's not that simple, it takes time, it's a process and obviously everyone goes through a different trajectory and different way to the top.
So, for me, I was very fortunate to be very young when I got to the top 100 of the world. And I kind of have risen to top ten pretty quickly, fairly quickly, within two years on the tour. So, I had some turning point and some big wins like Miami Open and Canada where I beat top three players at that time in the world. And those particular tournaments or certain wins that you make against the best players in the world affect your confidence and have a great impact on your career, you know.
All of a sudden you feel like you belong there, that you can actually do it. So when I won my first Slam in 2008, I was a 20-year-old, and it all came to me pretty quickly. And then for three years, I was unable to get another Slam and that's probably due to the newly-occurring circumstances for me and challenges and obstacles, mental obstacles, that I had to face they have never faced before.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title